Sucker Rod Management - Technical and Economic Evaluation of Changes to Innovative Processes

Marlies Juri

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis


The sucker rod string is one of the most vital parts of sucker rod pumps, an artificial lift system for oil production. It provides the link between surface and subsurface equipment. Nonetheless, sucker rods are subject to failure, which leads to high expenses for repair and technical efforts. Ensuring smooth, undisturbed operations and increasing the mean time between failure (MTBF) are major optimization goals for OMV. In recent years OMV has started projects which especially address the quality evaluation of used sucker rods, in order to approach the minimization of sucker rod failures. Though a classification system of used rods based on load cycles exists, it does not find complete application in practice. In addition, the current inspection process is based only on visual and empirical criteria. The transition from currently subjective to more objective inspection processes and to classify them for reuse, are subjects that need to be addressed. Methods such as an RFID system and a non-destructive testing method of corrosion and fatigue represent promising solutions. The challenge for applying these methods is the change of existing processes to integrate them in everyday work. Furthermore, they should fulfill the base requirements for establishing a continuous improvement process. Moreover, the change to these processes results in additional technical efforts and financial expenses. In order to capture these factors, first a current state analysis in OMV Austria was carried out. Processes considering sucker rods were followed from the deinstallation from the well, their transport and inspection at the pipe yard until reinstallation in the well. Especially the situation at the pipe yard in Prottes was subject to research. Weaknesses in the processing of the sucker rods were uncovered and potential for improvement was identified. Based on these findings new process steps were recommended and integrated into workflow patterns. The result is presented in four different concepts with different levels of quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC). Through the definition of relevant parameters, an economic and technical evaluation was applied and each concept ranked accordingly. This analysis shows major cost drivers for each concept and operational and technical challenges for implementation. Results indicate a clear preference which shall support OMV management to decide on future investments. In addition, the thesis gives recommendations for redesigned workflow patterns to support implementation.
Translated title of the contributionSucker Rod Management - Technische und wirtschaftliche Bewertung von Veränderungen zu innovativen Prozessen
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Montanuniversität
  • Kaiser, Florian, Co-Supervisor (internal)
  • Maier, Robert, Supervisor (external), External person
  • Biedermann, Hubert, Supervisor (internal)
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

embargoed until 04-02-2025


  • sucker rod pumps
  • sucker rod management
  • quality control
  • concepts

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